Why Did They Bother...Corrado Grabbi
Full Name: Corrado Grabbi or Ciccio/Francesco Grabbi
Date of Birth: 29th July 1975, Turin
Signed: June 2001
Left: January 2004 (free transfer to Ancona)
Clubs (Prior to Rovers): Juventus, Sparta, Lucchese, Verona, Modena, Ternana, Ravenna (loan) & Messina (loan from Rovers) (All Italy)
Corrado Grabbi was a big money £7 million Graeme Souness signing. When he arrived little was known about the Italian, was anything really found out during his time with Blackburn Rovers?
Grabbi began his career with Serie A giants Juventus in the 1992-1993 season as a 17-year-old but would have to wait for a loan move to Italian non-league side Sparta to make his debut in the 1993-1994 season, scoring 8 goals in 31 appearances.
The 1994-1995 season saw him given a brief chance at the Stadio delle Alpi. In 2 appearances with Turin giants Juventus he scored 1 goal so not a bad strike rate! Finally realising that his chances with one of the biggest teams in Europe would be limited he moved on for the 1995-1996 season to Serie B side Lucchese.
With Lucchese he scored 1 goal in 8 matches, moving again before the season was out to fellow Serie B side Verona but his record didn't get much better as he'd manage only 2 goals in 18 outings.
The forward wasn't lasting very long with his sides and in the summer of 1996 he again moved on. This time a move would see him sign for Serie C1 side Modena. In two seasons' with the club Grabbi scored 30 goals in 58 matches, was there really something about Grabbi?
Ternana thought there was and took him back up to Serie B but in the 1998-1999 season he scored only 2 goals in 14 matches. A further loan spell followed with Ravenna, also of Serie B and an improvement of 13 goals in 29 games saw him return to his parent club Ternana for the new season.
So the season prior to Souness' signing of the Italian he notched up 20 goals in 34 matches. An impressive return but surly on previous showing this was just a one off? Graeme Souness disagreed and splashed out big time!
An incredible £7 million for an unknown journeyman with no real track record secured the service of the sought after 25-year-old Italian hitman, with Rovers said to beat off competition from then Serie A giants Fiorentina and fellow top flight outfit Udinese.
2001-2002 saw the Italian struggle to cope with the Premiership and after only six months he would be sent back to Italy for a loan spell with struggling Serie B side Messina in January 2002. This did little to see him rediscover the goal touch but which without being cruel to Grabbi did he ever have?
He returned to Ewood for the 2002-2003 and a bit of the 2004-2005 seasons but again struggled to make an impact. In total he managed a meagre 5 goals in 41 appearances. Graeme Souness had decided he'd had enough and in January 2004 Grabbi secured a permanent return to Italy with Ancona on a free transfer.
As of the summer of 2005 he has been with a former top flight Italian side Genoa, by then struggling in Serie C1 following their relegation after an investigation into match fixing by the Italian Football Federation.
Having helped Genoa into Serie B Grabbi was allegedly talked out of his intentions to retire due to the physical rigors of football on his body by his team mates, supporters and the club president.
With Grabbi having scored less than 70 goals in almost ten years prior to his move to Ewood Park and not many since, although in all fairness a couple of these years were spent as a youngster with Juventus what was Graeme Souness thinking... This wouldn't be the first time he had been "tricked" into signing a quality footballer though; didn't he once sign George Weah's cousin who never was when with Southampton?
Not the worst player in Rovers' history as he more often than not give his all this just wasn't enough, but one of the worst buys in their history. Without doubt the worst HUGE money buy...
The above information is as accurate to my knowledge as possible up to and including 27th September 2006.
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